A MILE IN THEIR BOOTS

“I have the opportunity to take part of an event in which I assist a private rhino owner to protect their precious animals. I literally walked a mile in their boots.

The day starts off by packing your bags and driving almost 5 hours to the Limpopo province.  Upon arrival we are then introduced to the people who work on the property and who protects the  rhino.  We have a period to relax and just enjoy the African bush and all sorts of creatures of the wild.

We then head off to attend a briefing in which we are told about safety, snakes, scorpions and all the other creepy crawlies, after all talking when head for thebush. The instructors then tell you about the risk involved while you are out by the rhino. I met some interesting and like minded people.

After this we do a short walking patrol and then head off to have supper in the bush, under the stars. After our stomachs were full and the night had set in we then split into groups and went on a night foot patrol. We were in single line formation with the instructors in the front and the back. Now this is when it hit me hard! We were out where a poacher could potentially enter, camp out and plan their route to the rhino. Although it was a bit scary I knew that I was surrounded by competent people and knew that they would never put any one’s life in danger.  All I remember is being so stunned on how bright it was and how the moon lit up everything in front of me. I was amazed by the utter beauty of it all.

 

The next day we went and did a lot of activities and saw these MAGNICENT creatures. I think when people go on adventures like these they expect to touch and get a selfie with a rhino (#selfiewitharhino) but these rhino are wild and that’s exactly how they should be. I sat on the back of the game vehicle and could not decide whether to take pictures or just stare. After observing them I just realized that these animals have families, they have emotions, they are sensitive, they are just stunning. I couldn’t even comprehend how someone would go up to this creature and pull the trigger. I am getting pretty emotional as I write this because I just can’t imagine what drives someone to commit murder and that’s exactly what it is – murder.  This creature has a calf at foot that it protects and loves just as much as a human loves their child.

 

Later that day we went to a grave site in which we saw where a rhino had been poached a few years back. Now this is where the tears wanted to start flowing…Even after been poached and years gone by most of the remains of this animal were still there. It’s sad to think that if the species isn’t saved then they will still be here but only the form of bones and tough dried dead skin.

Now we still did a bunch of patrols and activities but after that we went home on Sunday night. I came back home to my family and my dogs and  I looked at my dog which I adore and love with my whole heart and couldn’t even begin to fathom the idea of someone killing him just because of selfish greed.  I slept like a baby that night because I had been running on red bull the whole weekend and was definitely sleep deprived. I woke up the next morning and life went back to normal.

Just imagine for just one second that the night that I slept like a baby but out there in the bush is a rhino owner that is worrying about their animals. They were out there patrolling and protecting their precious creatures.

Just imagine constantly having that worry on your shoulders? They do this for us, for my children, for my children’s children.

This is truly a selfless act.

Would I recommend this? Hell yeah.

Can I guarantee that you will walk away with a new mind-set? YES.

Will you think twice before you go to sleep at night and just pray for the safety of the animals and their protectors? I truly hope so.”

– An anonymous Rhino lover.

 

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